English Premier League club Crystal Palace sees the United States as a key target for the club to pursue to help grow its fanbase and commercial interests, club chairman Steve Parish told World Soccer Talk Radio this week in an exclusive interview.
Parish was speaking on the heels of the successful launch of the first two episodes of Premier League Behind The Badge, a fly on the wall documentary featuring Crystal Palace, which has aired on NBCSN in the United States during the past two weeks and has received glowing reviews.
“The Premier League is one of the fastest growing properties on US television right now, and it’s also virgin territory in that it didn’t have a strong footprint in the Premier League before,” said Parish. “Obviously what we find when we go into a lot of territories around the world is that the Premier League already has a huge amount of traction. And unfortunately maybe gained that traction during a time when we weren’t participating. People have picked the teams they’re following and the teams that they support.
“The US represents a particular area of interest for us. Not only because of that but also because we have quite a US centric brand. I’ve always said that if somebody from America bought a football club and wanted to rename it, they might call it something like Crystal Palace. Red and blue. An eagle as its mascot emblem. There’s a resonation of the brand with people in the US. We’ve certainly garnering lots of support from the US.
“Your global support does drive many things. The commercial sponsors are interested in that. We’re interested in it in terms of widening the appeal of the club. So there’s a lot of factors that make the US an interesting target for us. And one where we’re happy to go into the documentary because there would be some good wins for us if it’s successful.”
Palace recently received investment from American billionaires Josh Harris and David Blitzer. The Americans invested £50 million into the club to help redevelop Selhurst Park, Palace’s stadium in London.
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are planning on playing friendlies in the United States either this summer or next with the hope of playing one game in New York City.
“We are looking at it. We’ve got a couple of options,” said Parish. “If not this year, then next year.”